How to Fix if Apple “Ask to Buy” Notification not working on iPhone, iPad, Mac

fix ask to buy not working

If you are dealing with the issue where the feature of Family Sharing, Ask to Buy is not working or you are not getting the notification for the same, you have landed at the right place.

Luckily, we can help to resolve this issue! Let’s explore all the potential solutions to fix Ask to Buy not working on iOS and macOS.

Why am I not receiving “Ask to Buy” Requests?

Apple‘s “Ask to Buy” feature is designed to help parents manage their children’s spending on the App Store as well as other digital media purchases. However, this feature is not working for some users.

The most common reason why Apple’s “Ask to Buy” feature is not working is due to a lack of a valid Apple ID. This can be caused by not setting up a valid Apple ID for each family member, or by not providing a valid payment method for the primary Apple ID associated with the family.

ask to buy

In addition, the feature may not be working if the user has enabled restrictions on their device, or if the device is running an older version of iOS, iPadOS, or macOS.

Another potential cause of the issue is a lack of communication between family members. Apple’s “Ask to Buy” feature requires that family members are connected to each other via Family Sharing, and if any family member is not connected, the feature will not work. Additionally, if the family organizer has not accepted the invitation to join the family sharing setup, the feature will not work.

Finally, not getting the Ask to Buy notification can also happen if the user has not enabled the feature in the Family Sharing settings. To enable the feature, users must go to Settings > Family Sharing > Family Member > Ask to Buy and then toggle the switch to the “On” position.

How to Fix if the Ask to Buy Notifications are not Working on iPhone, iPad, or Mac

If the Ask to buy is not showing up when your child is making purchases, then here are a couple of things to keep in mind.

1. Educational content is unsupported

The content provided. by the educational institutions is not applicable to for Ask to Buy. The purchases made for the educational content don’t need to be approved by the approver so there is no Ask to buy notification needed.

2. Check for the Ask to Buy notifications properly

It is possible that your device did get the notifications for the Ask to buy approval but you haven’t checked them on time, resulting in those notifications moving down the queue in the notification panel.

  • Check notifications on iPhone: To check the notifications on your iPhone running iOS 15 or later, swipe down from the middle or left side of the top edge or notch.
  • Check notifications on iPad: To check notifications on iPad, swipe down from the top center and scroll up to see the older notifications.
  • Check notifications on Mac: To check notifications on Mac, click on the Date and Time. Alternatively, you can also swipe left with two fingers from the left edge of the trackpad.

3. Check your Apple ID and Family Sharing Settings

Make sure that you are logged into your Apple device with the correct Apple ID. The Apple ID must be the same in the Apple apps that you have set to be used for Family Sharing.

If your family member, your child, for instance, is getting the Unable to Ask Permission message, you should check your Family Sharing settings.

Go to Settings > Apple ID (check if the Apple ID is yours) > Family Sharing (check the family sharing settings).

family sharing settings iphone

4. Enable Ask to Buy

It is possible that the Ask to Buy is not working because you have not enabled it.

Enable Ask to Buy on iPhone, iPad

1. Open the Settings app on your iOS device and go to the Family option.

family settings iphone

2. Select the concerned family member’s profile and tap on Ask to Buy on the next screen.

ask to buy iphone

3. Finally, switch on the toggle for the Require Purchase Approval option. If it is already enabled, first disable it and then re-enable it.

enable require purchase approval

Enable Ask to Buy on Mac

1. Open the System Settings by going to the Apple Menu > System Settings.

system settings mac

2. Click on the Family option from the left pane and select the account of your concerned family member from the right

family settings mac

3. In the prompted window click on Ask to Buy from the left pane and enable the Require Purchase Approval option from the right.

enable ask to buy mac

5. Check the Approver

Approvwer is the one who gets the Ask to Buy notifications on its Apple devices. Make sure there is a proper approver and also if the current approver is not working, try changing it to some other one.

Change Approver in iOS 16 and Later

Open the Settings app and go to Family > Tap on the family member account that you want to set as the approver> Parent/Guardian > Enable Set as Parent/Guardian.

Change Approver in iOS 15 and Earlier

Open Settings and go to Apple ID > Family Sharing > select any family member you want to make the approver > Role > Choose Parent/Guardian.

Choose Approver in macOS Ventura and later

Open the System Settings and go to Apple ID > Family > choose the family member’s name you want to make the approver > Parent/Guardian > Set as Parent/Guardian. Finally, click on Done to confirm. 

Choose Approver in macOS Monterey and earlier

Open the System Preferences and go to Family Sharing > click on the Details option next to the family member’s name > Edit. Here, choose the Parent/Guardian option.

6. Re-log into your Apple ID

You should attempt to fix the Ask to Buy not working feature by signing out of your Apple ID and then signing back in again. This is a reliable solution that should be tried.

Logout and login to your Apple ID on your iPhone and iPad

Open Settings and go to Apple ID > Sign Out > Enter your App ID Password to disable Find My > Make an offline backup of your iCloud data > Sign Out.

sign out apple id

Once you are signed out, open settings and sign back into your Apple ID.

Logout and log in to your Apple ID on your Mac

In macOS Ventura and later, open the System Settings and go to your Apple ID > Sign Out.

sign out mac

For macOS Monterey and earlier, go to System Preferences > Apple ID > Sign Out.

7. Update your Apple Devices

Keeping your devices up to date is one of the things you must check in cases of inconvenience. Adding to this, if the Ask to Buy notification is not appearing, you should make sure that all your Apple devices are up to date.

Also, keep in mind that iOS devices running iOS 8 or later and Mac PCs running OS X Yosemite or later is the minimum requirement.

Check updates on iPhone and iPad

Open the Settings app and go to General > Software Update.

Update software on your iPhone

Check updates on Mac

On macOS 13 or later, go to System Settings > General > Software Update.

software update macos ventura

On macOS 12 Monterey or earlier, open System Preferences > Software Update.

8. Reset All Settings

Faulty or incorrect system settings can interfere with the Family Sharing feature. Hence you can try resetting all the settings to their default on your iPhone and iPad.

Open the Settings app and go to General > Transfer or Reset iPhone or iPad > Reset > Reset All Settings and confirm.

reset all settings
reset all settings

9. Verify the age

In countries like South Korea, the children may be asked to verify their age. So make sure to do that in order to use the Ask to Buy feature.

10. When Ask to Buy is enabled, you can’t buy…

You can’t buy the following things when the Ask to Buy is enabled:

  • iTunes Gifts and Match.
  • Donations.

11. Ask to Buy won’t work while…

If you are doing the following, the Ask to Buy feature won’t work and neither the notification for the same will be sent:

  • Downloading previous purchases by the family members.
  • Redeeming a product code.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Why is Apple Ask to Buy not working?

    Apple's Ask To Buy feature requires both the parent and the child to have an Apple ID. Additionally, the child must be under the age of 18 and have Family Sharing enabled to be able to use Ask To Buy. If any of these conditions are not met, the Ask To Buy feature will not work.

  2. Why am I not getting my child's app requests on iPhone?

    There are a few potential reasons why you're not receiving app requests from your child's iPhone. First, make sure that your child has enabled the “Ask to Buy” feature in the Family Sharing settings.

    This feature must be enabled for you to receive app requests. Additionally, ensure that you have added your child's Apple ID to your Family Sharing account and that you are set as the Family Organizer in your Family Sharing settings.

    Lastly, check the Restrictions settings on your child's phone to make sure that the “Installing Apps” setting is set to “Allow”.

  3. How do I fix the ask to buy on my iPhone?

    If you are having trouble with Ask To Buy on your iPhone, you can try the following steps to try to fix the issue:

    1. Make sure that the Family Sharing feature is turned on in the Settings app.
    2. Ensure that all family members have iCloud accounts and are part of the Family Sharing group.
    3. Check that you have enabled Ask To Buy from the Family Sharing settings.
    4. Make sure that you have the latest iOS version installed on your device.
    5. Restart your iPhone and try using Ask To Buy again.
    6. If the problem persists, contact Apple Support for further assistance.

  4. How do I approve my child's app request on iPhone?

    Go to the Settings app and tap your name. Then, select Family Sharing and tap your family member's name. For iOS 15 or earlier, tap Ask to Buy first and then select the family member's name. Lastly, turn the Require Purchase Approval option on or off.

We hope this guide has been helpful in resolving this issue of the Apple “Ask to Buy” Notification not working properly. Remember, if you ever have any other questions or concerns about the “Ask to Buy” feature, you can always contact Apple Support for further assistance.

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Posted by
Bhanu Pratap

Hi! I am Bhanu Pratap, co-founder of Yorker Media Group. A die-heart fan of tech and keeps track of every little happening of the same. When not writing, I usually keep myself busy on YouTube making and exploring new and awesome tech content.

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